Livermore Quotes

What follows are some of the many jewels of wisdom accumulated by Jesse Livermore during his 40 + years of trading. The fact that these insights are as relevant today as they were over sixty years ago, is a testament to Livermore’s deep understanding of the market. After reading through these, you too will conclude, “… nothing new ever occurs in the business of speculating or investing in securities or commodities.”

Captions for the following photographs, along with additional photographs, and Livermore’s complete view of speculating, may be obtained by reading, “HOW TO TRADE IN STOCKS”, BY JESSE L. LIVERMORE, with added material by RICHARD SMITTEN, available at All photographs are used with the permission of the author.


“I know but one sure tip from a broker. It is your margin call. When it reaches you, close your account. You are on the wrong side of the market.”

“Do not permit yourself to be influenced by excitement, flattery or temptation.””Few people ever make money by trading on the occasional tips or recommendations of others.”

“Many beg for information and then don’t know how to use it.”

“The price pattern reminds you that every movement of importance is but a repetition of similar price movements, that just as soon as you familiarize yourself with the actions of the past, you will be able to anticipate and act correctly and profitably upon forthcoming movements.

“The market will tell the speculator when he is wrong, because he is losing money.”

“Beware of inside information … all inside information.”


“There are times when one should speculate, and just as surely there are times when one should not speculate.”

“There are times when money can be made investing and speculating in stocks, but money cannot consistently be made trading every day or every week during the year.”

“If you believe it likely to have a definite bullish or bearish effect marketwise, don’t trust your own opinion and back your judgment until the action of the market itself confirms your opinion because the effect marketwise may not be as pronounced as your are inclined to believe it should be.”

“Markets are never wrong – opinions often are.”

“…after forming a definite opinion with respect to certain stock or stocks – do not be too anxious to get into it.”

“Whenever I have had the patience to wait for the market to arrive at what I call a ‘Pivotal Point’ before I started to trade, I have always made money in my operations.”

“Experience has proved to me that the real money made in speculating has been in commitments in a stock or commodity showing a profit right from the start.”

“I believe that by keeping proper records and taking the time element into consideration …one can with a fair degree of accuracy forecast coming movements of importance..”

“Markets never stand still.”

“It is not well to be too curious about all the reasons behind price movements.”

“What I wish to impress upon you is the fact that when you clearly see a move coming in a particular group, act upon it.”

“Rome was not built in a day, and no real movement of importance ends in one day or in one week.”

“I do not use the words “bullish” or “bearish” in defining trends of the market, because I think so many people, when they hear the words “bullish” or “bearish” spoken of marketwise immediately think that is the course the market is going to take for a very long time.”

“When a speculator can determine the Pivotal Point of a stock and interpret the action at that point, he may make a commitment with the positive assurance of being right from the start.”

“Bear in mind when using Pivotal Points in anticipating market movements, that if the stock does not perform as it should, after crossing the Pivotal Point, this is a danger signal which must be heeded.”

“But careful timing is essential … impatience costly.”


“Profits always take care of themselves but losses never do.”

“…protect yourself by selling your stock before the loss assumes larger proportions.”

“One of the primary rules is that one should never permit speculative ventures to run into investments.”

“… the investor must guard his capital account just as the successful speculator does in his speculative ventures.”

“… great investments tumble, and with them the fortunes of so-called conservative investors in the continuous distribution of wealth.”

“But I believe it is a safe statement that the money lost by speculation alone is small compared with the gigantic sums lost by so-called investors who have let their investments ride.”

“From my viewpoint, the investors are the big gamblers. They make a bet, stay with it, and if it goes wrong, they lose it all.”

“After attaining a goodly profit, you must have patience, but don’t let patience create a frame of mind that ignores the danger signals.”

“There is always the temptation in the stock market, after a period of success, to become careless or excessively ambitious.”

“… do not have an interest in too many stocks at one time.”

“When you are handling surplus income do not delegate the task to anyone.”

“… a person engaged in the business of speculation should risk only a limited amount of capital on any one venture.”

“A speculator should make it a rule each time he closes out a successful deal to take on-half of his profits and lock this sum up in a safe deposit box.”

“The only money that is ever taken out of Wall Street by speculators is the money they draw out of their accounts after closing a successful deal.”

“When a speculator is fortunate enough to double his original capital he should at once draw out on-half of his profit to be set aside for reserve.”


“Anyone who is inclined to speculate should look at speculation as a business and treat it as such and not regard it as a pure gamble as so many people are apt to do.”

“… those engaging in that business should determine to learn and understand it to the best of their ability, with informative data available.”

“… nothing new ever occurs in the business of speculating or investing in securities or commodities.”

“There are time when one should speculate, and just as surely there are times when one should not speculate.”

“Speculation is nothing more than anticipating coming movements.”

“Successful speculation is anything but a mere guess.”

“If my stock does not act as I anticipated, I immediately determine the time is not yet ripe – so I close out my commitment.”

“When a stock starts sliding downward, no one can tell how far it will go.”

“Never sell a stock, because it seems high-priced.”

“Many have lost their capital funds by selling a stock short after a long upward movement, when it “seemed too high”.”

“I never buy on reactions or go short on rallies.”

“It is foolhardy to make a second trade, if your first trade shows you a loss. Never average losses. Let that thought be written indelibly upon your mind.”

“When I see a danger signal handed to me, I don’t argue with it. I get out! A few days later, if everything looks all right, I can always go back in again.”

“Curiously, the trouble with most speculators is that something inside of them keeps them from mustering enough courage to close out their commitment when they should.”

“… the human side of every person is the greatest enemy of the average investor or speculator.”

“When you are doing nothing, those speculators who feel they must trade day in and day out, are laying the foundation for your next venture.”

“Confine your studies of movements to the prominent stocks of the day. If you cannot make money out of the leading active issues, you are not going to make money out of the stock market as a whole.”

“Just as styles in women’s gowns and hats and costume jewelry are forever changing with time, the old leaders of the stock market are dropped and new ones rise up to take their places.”

“Remember the leaders of today may not be the leaders two years from now.”

“One major mistake of all speculators is the urge to enrich themselves in too short a time.”

“Never make any trade unless you know you can do so with financial safety.”

“I learned the main thing was to watch the follow-through.”

“If something favorable happens in connection with the company, and the stock starts upward, usually it is a safe play to buy the minute it touches a brand-new high.”

“In consideration of these general trading principles it should be said that too many speculators buy or sell impulsively, acquiring their entire line at almost one price. That is wrong and dangerous.”

“The fact that your trades do show you a profit is proof you are right.”

“When your chosen stock reaches the point you had previously decided it should reach if the move is going to start in earnest, that is the time to make your first commitment.”

“… clear thinking which is required at all times in the field of speculation.”

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